Saturday, 3 March 2012

It's so simple: Bus Fares and Waterparks

This is so obvious that I'm sure somebody else has pointed this out already, but just in case ...

There are a couple of big stories coming out of Winnipeg City Hall these days. One has to do with a 20 cent transit fare increase to fund the first leg of the rapid transit corridor from downtown to the University of Manitoba. As one would expect, this has generated a storm of protest. People are upset, a web site has been created in opposition to the proposal, old men are breaking their hips in protest ... it's getting ugly out there folks. And what does this transit fare do for us? It nets us $7 million (rounded off) in annual revenue to put towards the rapid transit line.

Meanwhile ...

The mayor is at long last thinking of giving up on his dream of having an indoor water park in Winnipeg, assisted by $7 million of public money, should a white knight not step up (or sashay out of the water .. kind of like this) in the next month.

In case you forgot where the money came from:

the money for the water park was taken from a $43-million pot of multi-lateral money destined to fund the first stage of Bus Rapid Transit.
... the same first stage of bus rapid transit that the 20 cent fare increase is supposed to help.

Sam says "There's lots of other projects we can do." Hey ... I know a project!

Dan Lett, in the column linked to earlier, argues it should be spent on hockey rinks and community clubs. Not a bad idea, and other people may have other thoughts, but putting the cash back where it belongs will allow us to shelve the ridiculous transit fare increase and will buy us another year to allow Sammy and Greg to work through their embarrassingly disfunctional transit funding courtship.

Sometimes the simplest solution is the best solution.

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